Thursday, December 27, 2007

Comet Holmes And Benazir

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The Comet Brought Her From Oblivion, To Snuff Out Her Life?

It was less than two months ago when I wondered about the arrival of Comet Holmes, and how some people were predicting that this comet represented the resurgence of feminine leadership, and perhaps heralded the coming to power of quite a few women leaders around the world. (Here is the link to that post.) Amongst the names of leaders, I had listed the name of Benazir Bhutto, who came back from a self-imposed exile into the thick of elections of a country known for its ruthless execution of all its ex-leaders - as it turns out, without any mercy towards the feminine gender.

Return of Benazir Bhutto

And now look what has happened.

BBC photo

The more one tries to arrive at a pattern in the mysterious workings of the universe... the more the universe turns out exceptions.

BBC photo

This blog prays for the departed soul.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shortcuts To Success

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How We Delude Ourselves That We Can Get Away

For Ben, the world is his oyster. When he breasts the finishing mark in the 100 meter sprint in the 1987 World Championships in Athletics held in Rome, the entire world rises as one to applaud. His 9.83 seconds is a new world record. People fall over each other to felicitate the new celebrity, and shower him with trophies, awards and felicitations. He is made the "Member of the Order of Canada".

Member of the Order of Canada

September 24, 1988 is a historic moment for Ben. Under the warm Seoul sun, this Ontarian sets the Jamsil Stadium track on fire with his "benfastic" 9.79 seconds performance.

Jamsil Stadium

Three days later, his story hit its peripety. Ben is stripped of all honors. The reason: he was discovered to be taking shortcuts to success. "Why Ben? Why? Why did you do it?" I wonder if the scrapbook in Ben's library contains this newspaper headline also, along with all the other headline-cuttings of all the honors that had come his way.

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Cut to December 13, 2007. In a 409-page report released by George Mitchell, a finger points to 88 Major League Baseball players, accusing them of using steroids or drugs to artificially boost their body's capability and hit the ball harder, run quicker from one base to the other, or pitch it faster than normally possible.

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Man just doesn't learn from history, does he? Shortcuts to success ultimately end in humiliation and ignominy, the exact opposite of the adulation and honor that was being sought. Was it not possible for these gentlemen to give some extra workouts at their training sessions and imbibe some additional discipline to build stamina and take the highway route to whatever success they aspired to?

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At what cost, success?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Changing Your Brain's State

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Getting In The Mood Can't Become Easier!

I am sure we all encounter experiences when there is some deadline looming ahead. And the brain simply refuses to function! The boss has to be submitted a report in the next twenty-four hours, and you don't feel the motivation to lift your pen, or mouse, or whatever. You are required to compose a new piece of music, but your mind keeps going back to the stranger you met midnight last night...

Frank Sinatra

You find yourself staring at a complex mathematical equation or a drawing, and know that it is within you to solve the problem it is posing. Yet, you cannot summon the right resources within you required to handle it.

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In short, this _is_ a defining moment, but, somehow, you are incapable of seizing it. The mood just isn't there, you see.

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That's where a nifty self-dev tool can help. We have long since known that when our mind is "in the mood" of doing a certain activity, and when we are totally absorbed in that activity, our brain emits waves that have frequencies different from the ones it emits when we are "not in the mood". Another aspect of the brain that we know about is its capability to "entrain" itself to any external frequency. Which is another way of saying that when we plug our ears with earphones connected to an Mp3 that is belting music at specific frequency, after a while the brain begins humming at that very frequency.

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This is where this tool comes in. It is called the "brainev", and goes by the fancy name of "Brain Evolution System". A product of "Elite Inner Circle", the package has six CDs, each with a focus / end goal.

Product Package

Pop in the appropriate CD in the player, and while listening to the music, you begin to feel the brain gradually "evolving" itself to the state that you wanted yourself to be in. So you can now finish the report and place it on your boss' table in time; or shift your mind from the stranger in the night and back to the music you are supposed to write; or solve the complex equation that has defied solution. Or even, create new ideas out of ether and realize them on this earth.

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There's a video here where the company's representative talks about this product's properties.

Video Grab

The site they have is here:

No harm in trying it out. Who knows, what latent powers and skills in you are struggling to be unlocked?

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Joy Of Remaining Calm Amidst Turmoil

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Also Eliminates Most Troubles

Easier said than done, this exercise. Of remaining calm and peaceful when the rest of the world around you is in chaos. And also, enjoying one's calm and peace.

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But it is quite possible to achieve, and quite within our capabilities. I wouldn't suggest that you go to some mountaintop and meditate. You can start doing it right here and now. While you are reading this. And all it takes is a shift in your outlook.

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One faculty that is required to be summoned is that of reflection. Reflect on the interactions that you had with external world. The people who walked into and out of your communication zone, from the morning milkman to the night guard on duty to the partner you said goodbye to before turning over the side and switching off for the night. Go through all interactions, and with a detached mind, observe the state of emotions you went through during each exchange.

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You might discover a pattern in the quality of your thoughts and emotions. While some interactions would obviously leave you indifferent, there are others where your reactions will be a result of some very grassroots-level emotion: anger, disdain, contempt, fear, jealousy, irritation, nervousness... we can run through the entire list. And, as you transit from one interaction with another, your mind automatically switches to the emotion that you have always stereotypically attached to the next encounter. Just recall the boo-boodee-boo of your heart as you were walking towards the cabin of your arrogant boss! Or the anger / disdain / hatred / nervousness you feel when you see your irascible spouse walk in through the front door. Or any such interaction where there is conflict or turmoil. Where any of the negative emotions run riot.

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After this process of reflection, comes the decision to now become non-judgmental, from this moment on. No, I am not asking to turn the other cheek when somebody slaps you. What I am suggesting is to refrain from sitting in judgment on the behavior and action of others. And replace this sense of judgment with a sense of stepping back, calming yourself, detaching from the situation and the person's behavior, and then stepping forward to reconnect. So you are not retaliating, not going for a tit-for-tat, not defending yourself or your existence, but reaching out with more maturity. And never mind how the other person reacts to this sudden change in your temperament.

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Keep doing it. There will be instances when the gale of the negative emotion will be so empowering that only after it has passed will you realize that you lost a golden chance to strengthen your sense of calm and harmony. But that's okay. Because such chances will keep coming at you, and a time will come when you will begin marveling at the ease with which you retain your balance and sense of peace – come what may.

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People around cannot fail to notice this change in you! They will begin to appreciate the fact that you are calm when they and everybody else around are not. And good things begin to happen. Like you find the LoA beginning to manifest in your day to day life.

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Go on. Take this up as a challenge. A game that you play with yourself, using the others around you as accessories. And see how far you succeed at it. Isn't it interesting!

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